Only eight finer!1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson #79 PSA NM-MT 8. On Jackie Robinson's tombstone in Brooklyn's Cypress Hills Cemetery, just five miles from where Ebbets Field once stood, these words are engraved: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." By that metric, no athlete in American sporting history is more important than the man who took the dangerous first step across baseball's shameful color line. Though Ruth and Cobb may stand taller in the sport's pantheon, from a purely sociological standpoint Robinson has no challenger in significance, and it's no stretch to say that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama would have been impossible without the forward momentum Robinson supplied to the cause of racial equality.
Thus there could be no contesting the logic of a corollary between the most important rookie ballplayer of all-time and the elite significance of that player's rookie card. And it is surely only a delightful coincidence that the first full-color trading card issue of the post-war era should host the debut of the man who brought long-overdue color to the Major Leagues. Discounting the short-printed representations celebrating Satchel Paige and Bob Feller, the Robinson is far and away the set's most significant component.
Over one thousand submissions have been presented to the experts at PSA for encapsulation, but just eight have commanded a superior, unqualified assessment. The well-centered card displays mild toning that fails to obscure the fantastic hues--a deep, rich yellow in the background and electric blue in the cap--while entirely avoiding the focus liabilities that are so familiar to devotees of the Leaf brand. The back shows vibrant print against clean, grey cardstock. And while the game and the nation have changed enormously since the far less evolved climate of Robinson's early Dodgers service, the offered relic is almost untouched by the passage of nearly seven decades since production.
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